Friday, March 22, 2013

Clean Water: A #GA Church Experience

I'm a new missions leader this year for the GA's (a group for girls in grades 1-6) at our church, and am gradually getting my feet on the ground. If you know about GA's, we've been doing Journey projects along the way, and now I'm improvising a bit to help the girls earn a Pure Water, Pure Love patch.

One of my goals is to help these girls become missional leaders. I'm sure somewhere in the GA program, that's one of their stated goals as well. Like I said, I'm still getting my feet wet!

So, knowing that World Water Day is coming up, and since I'm also the Pure Water, Pure Love consultant for our tiny SBC convention up here, I thought it'd be neat if I could get the girls involved in planning an educational experience for our congregation, rather than having me plan something and telling them what their role will be.

Normally, we'd want to actually DO the activity on or near March 22nd (World Water Day), but the timing of Palm Sunday and Easter complicate things a bit this year. So, the next best thing is to use these two weeks or so to plan.

Since this is our first year and the girls are young, I've started them off with a partially fleshed-out idea this time around -- that we set a day at church where everyone willing carries around "dirty" water everywhere they go, to experience a small taste of what people in under-developed countries have to go through every day to fetch water that really isn't fit to drink.

I'm thinking we'll use water bottles for the young and gallon containers for the adults, health permitting. Then, at the end, we could use the water filters I have access to and demonstrate how effective they are.

But, I don't want to really make the water dirty. So, I had the girls brainstorm: What could we use to make the water look dirty, but would still be safe in case a little munchkin actually took a drink of it? I suggested something like chocolate milk mix, but wanted to hear from them. Here were their ideas:

  • cooked brownies and/or brownie mix
  • melted chocolate
  • marshmallows with chocolate

I'm not sure what the marshmallows are for, but I think it's important for them to make the decisions, even if they're quirky decisions or mistakes. So next week, we're going to test out their ideas to see which might work the best to give us the desired effect.

Hopefully, we'll also finish up our plans so that I can share them with you as well. One of the girls is wanting us to have the congregation drink the unfiltered water instead, so it should be a fun discussion!

Until then, I challenge you to take a glimpse into the reality that is hardly imaginable. Clean water really does change everything.

For more information, please see  a children's Christmas project I submitted to National WMU for another project idea, and connect with the national Pure Water, Pure Love Ministry.

If you're not with the SBC and are looking for a non-denominational water ministry, I highly recommend Living Water International. Their training experiences are top-notch!